This past week, I was reminded that colleagues aren’t just the people we work with. Sometimes, they are the people who INSPIRE us.

I got home Monday night and I was READY to knock some projects off the to-do list. Until my husband said, “There’s an abandoned kitty in our woodpile.”

I stopped what I was doing and instantly my world revolved around this helpless animal. I made my husband take me to see it. I held it. The thoughts rolled through my head:

  • Where is this little one’s mama?
  • Will she come back?
  • Is it hungry?
  • Should we be holding it?
  • How can I talk my husband into letting me keep it? (in full disclosure, I’d have my own little mini zoo if it weren’t for my very grounded and realist husband. I’m not always thankful for this but truthfully, I need the accountability.)

I put a call out on social media. HELP! I’m clueless! What do I do?

Within seconds, a kind and amazing colleague reached out with her phone number and said, “call me.” And I did. Immediately she was calming me off the invisible ledge I was standing on, reassuring me it was going to be ok. She asked a few questions and said she’d call me right back.

And she did. She had a plan that involved meeting halfway between our respective homes (about 35 minutes each way for both of us). From there, she’d get the kitty into the hands of a foster family who had experience with abandoned kittens.

By 8pm, the kitty (now named Moe) was in her hands and on its way to its new home. I was relieved, thankful, and truthfully, over my emotional capacity for the day.

As I drove home and thought about the evening, the one thought I kept thinking is, “What would I have done without Jeanette?” This whole time I thought she was brought into my life as a colleague but on Monday I realized there was much more to her story in my life. She’s become a friend, a helper, a caretaker, someone I trust and admire, and quite literally, a (kitty) lifesaver.

It got me thinking. Who is the inspiration in your life disguised as a colleague? Have you taken time to thank them for their part in your story?

If yes, good on you!

If not, what are you waiting for?